Monday, March 29, 2010

Now My Wife Wants A Pet Dragon

My wife and I took my sons to the movies on Saturday. Quick side point: Why do people insist on saying movies? I have a lot of respect for those who just say, “I went to see a movie,” rather than, “I went to the movies.” How many did you see? Was it a talkie or a silent film? When I go to the library I don’t say I went to the books. Now that I’m done with my Andy Rooney shtick, let me get back to my point.

We don’t usually go to see a movie (better) on the weekends due to crowds. Likewise, we usually don’t see a movie that has just opened. Again, crowds. This time, however, we bought our tickets online and got there early enough to get a good seat for How to Train Your Dragon. Yes, we did see it in 3D.

I have two words for you: awe and some.

If you have kids of pretty much any age and enjoy action, this is it, this is the movie you want to take your kids to see. So often, there’s this fine line between a movie having a good amount of action and being too scary for little ones. Yes, there were some pretty dangerous looking dragons in it, a lot of them, in fact. However, they were drawn in such a way that made them kid-friendly without making them wimpy. Tough to do, I know, but all credit to the animators at Dreamworks for pulling this balancing act off. The expressive eyes and mannerisms made them more canine-like and less threatening.

I noticed kids of all ages sitting in the theater and only heard one cry. I have no doubt that this was not because of anything that happened on the screen but because her diaper was full or she was hungry. She was that little.

From the very beginning of the movie, you are hit with action. There’s a shot that closes in from over the ocean on the coastal town where the film is set. Immediately the first of many harrowing dragon battles begins. It was impressive. The 3D effects were used effectively without being overused. I for one tend to feel with the rush of 3D movies being released that it is difficult to keep track of what’s happening. I become overwhelmed by too much action. This movie didn’t do that. I felt I could appreciate the animation without everything jumping off the screen and distracting me.

Meanwhile, there was plenty done to promote the plot of the movie. The plot itself was nothing incredibly new, but it was well told. But even if you’re not a fan of the plot, you never had long to wait before the action began again.

Of course, there was plenty comedic relief involved, but nothing too childish, nor too adult. I told my wife that this movie is the offspring of Shrek and Avatar. Furthermore, you had the voice of Gerard Butler as the tough, gruff, overbearing Viking leader. It was like a fat, ginger-haired version of his role in 300. It’s nice to see him get back to the basics.

Anyway, while I’m not in the business of promoting movies, I do have to give credit where credit is due. Also, I know movies are expensive these days, so when you can spend that cash on something worth while, it makes all the difference. That’s why I’m passing this along. If you want to go enjoy a movie with the whole family, go see How to Train Your Dragon, whether 3D or not. You’re sure to enjoy it.

No, I don’t have some sort of cheesy rating system, but maybe I’ll work on developing one.

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